Maggie Smith was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1977. She received a BA from Ohio Wesleyan University in Ohio and an MFA from Ohio State University.
Smith is the author of Good Bones (Tupelo Press, 2017), named one of the Best Five Poetry Books of 2017 by the Washington Post and the winner of the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal in Poetry. The title poem from this collection has been translated into nearly a dozen languages.
Smith’s poetry is known for its lyrical clarity and sharp rendering of a mother’s relationship to her children. The poet Ada Limón says of her work, “Smith’s voice is clear and unmistakable as she unravels the universe, pulls at a loose thread and lets the whole thing tumble around us, sometimes beautiful, sometimes achingly hard.”
Her other books include You Could Make This Place Beautiful: A Memoir (One Signal/Atria/Simon & Schuster, 2023); The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison (Tupelo Press, 2015), winner of the 2012 Dorset Prize and a 2016 Independent Publisher Book Award; and Lamp of the Body (Red Hen Press, 2005), winner of the 2003 Benjamin Saltman Award. Smith is also the author of three chapbooks: Disasterology (Dream Horse Press, 2016); The List of Dangers (Kent State/Wick Poetry Series, 2010); and Nesting Dolls (Pudding House, 2005).
A 2011 recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Smith has also received six Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council, two Academy of American Poets Prizes, a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the Sustainable Arts Foundation and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. In March 2019, Smith served as the Guest Editor for Poem-a-Day. She works as a freelance writer and editor and serves as a consulting editor to the Kenyon Review. She lives in Bexley, Ohio.